The emperor’s treasure was lost when his ship, en route to Jiangxi, was swallowed by devilish waters. For centuries, his fortune remained hidden. It was not until last week that villagers frequenting an area near the Gan river found the strange items in their waterway.
Before long the riverbank was inundated with thousands of would-be treasure hunters. Over 1,100 pounds, or 500 kilograms, of Qing Dynasty coins were found by pensioners and children alike. (Online rumors suggest that an ancient sword was found as well but local police are maintaining that's not true.)
The private excavation of items deemed treasure by the Chinese government is illegal; however, these diggers, fueled by immense excitement, failed to acknowledge this prohibition. With warning and verbal reprimand falling on deaf ears, local authorities resorted to other measures.
Twenty reinforcements were called in to support police officers in the area. The 30-square-meter site was subsequently cordoned off, but fervor cannot be contained with yellow tape.
When an administrator from the Zhejiang province traveled to the village, offering to pay as much as 700 yuan, approximately $101, to locals for their coins, it was soon discovered that none among the residents were willing to cooperate for such a low price.
Discovery of a hoard can make real the figures and events that unfold in the books set before an enthusiastic history student. What makes this find even more remarkable, though, is that it does not stand alone. No, the Jiangxi province is brimming with fantastical historical elements.
Just last year, two million ancient copper coins were found in Jiangxi, which makes us wonder, what more is left to be discovered?
A government-sanctioned archaeological dig has been scheduled for the area.
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